Larry P. Vellequette

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Why Wrangler’s Toledo decision may depend on keeping the money spigot flowing

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 18, 2014
It’s been just over two weeks since Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne casually revealed that he might have to move Jeep Wrangler production out of its historic home in Toledo, Ohio. Why? Because it might cost too much to shut down the plant long enough to convert it for the use of aluminum parts.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Wrangler is so engrained in its DNA, the city should be spelled Toledo, OIIIIIIIO

12:12 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 3, 2014
My hometown completely freaked out Thursday. Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne disclosed the next-generation Jeep Wrangler might have to be manufactured somewhere else other than in its historic home in Toledo.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Ford puts refreshed C-Max in the Phantom's spotlight

6:00 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 1, 2014
Ford on Wednesday lifted the mask on its next-generation C-Max at a special event at the Opera National de Paris, the setting for the fictional The Phantom of the Opera. The irony may have been lost on the Ford execs on hand, who also showed off the next-generation European S-Max and Grande C-Max before their scheduled press conference Thursday at the Paris auto show.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Why the UAW will strike in 2015 -- no matter what's offered

10:22 am U.S. ET | Sept. 19, 2014
Here is something that will happen in 2015 upon which you can bet serious money: The UAW will strike one -- and likely all three -- Detroit automakers before reaching a deal on a new labor agreement.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Fiat's cute cartoon characters suggest buying a 500 -- or else

3:38 pm U.S. ET | Aug. 27, 2014
Since Fiat was reintroduced to the United States in 2011, the Italian brand has stretched the advertising envelope. But a new animated spot set to debut on Gas Station TV touting the fuel and ecological advantages of a Fiat 500 minicar may be the brand's most wry offering yet.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Will Marchionne's profits grab come up empty?

5:16 pm U.S. ET | Aug. 6, 2014
Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne today seemed like a grizzly bear standing amid a stream of happily swimming salmon.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Why a squeeze is coming to auto dealers

10:28 am U.S. ET | Aug. 5, 2014
Take note: there is a squeeze coming to an auto dealer near you. Two important factors to new automotive sales -- low interest rates and relatively high values for used automobiles – are forecast to move in unwelcome directions.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Why the supplier price-fixing investigation looms large

9:40 am U.S. ET | Aug. 4, 2014
There's three dozen people in the auto supply chain who should be on the mind of everyone attending the Management Briefing Seminars here this year.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Let's hope for a litter of Hellcat kitties

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 19, 2014
Spend a few minutes with Chrysler's new monster power plant -- the 707-hp, 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V-8 -- and you will be left, as I was, with one overriding question.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Minivans: So practical, so maligned

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
The minivan is simultaneously one of the most practical yet wrongly maligned vehicles on the road today, and therein lies the challenge facing Chrysler Group as it redesigns its minivan for a new generation of drivers.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Why fuel economy faces law of diminishing returns

3:02 pm U.S. ET | July 11, 2014
In economics, it's known as the law of diminishing returns, the shrinking benefit you get when you pour ever-increasing resources toward achieving a singular goal. The DOE showed a good mathematical example of the principle today with a graphic it released about the consumer benefits of fuel economy.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Minivans are too practical to have the reputation they have

3:13 pm U.S. ET | July 9, 2014
If all vehicles represent compromises to necessity, I would argue that minivans are the least compromised of any segment.... Read More »

 

Larry P. Vellequette

Replacing the Wrangler is a puzzler

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 7, 2014
The Wrangler -- Jeep's own mud-encrusted halo -- is being redesigned for 2017, when it must comply with more stringent fuel economy requirements.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Why the bankruptcy legacy seems different at Chrysler and GM

3:02 pm U.S. ET | May 22, 2014
There is a fundamental difference today between Chrysler and GM because of what did and did not happen during their gut-wrenching bankruptcy crises five years ago. Chrysler came close enough to death in its bankruptcy to dramatically alter its culture, while GM never stopped believing it was too big to fail.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Can I request a Jeep Gladiator in the plan?

2:06 pm U.S. ET | May 2, 2014
To borrow a line from The Blues Brothers movie a few decades ago, Chrysler Group is “getting the band back together” on Tuesday to reveal its next five-year business plan. So I wonder: Is it too late to put in a request?... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Ohio man's collection of '36 Fords going to auction

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 19, 2014
As a young man, Emery Ward Jr. fell in love in 1936 -- with a Ford. He never got over the attraction. In fact, the older he got, the more it intensified.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

CEO media scrums are as ineffective as they are dangerous

9:22 am U.S. ET | April 18, 2014
Journalists chasing a meaty story can act like a pack of wild dogs sometimes. But this week in New York -- and earlier this year at the Detroit auto show after landing her new job -- GM CEO Mary Barra and her entourage must have realized how injured wildebeests feel as they are set upon by jackals.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Waiting for Alfa. And waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

10:46 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2014
If you show up decades late for your own surprise party, are guests still expected to cheer your arrival? Maybe not for most. But it might be a different story if your name is Alfa Romeo.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Auto companies are buying the creative souls of late night TV

6:42 pm U.S. ET | April 1, 2014
Two bedrocks of late night TV did something so unseemly last week it looked as though they had responded to an unholy informercial.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Jeep's software fix and the law of unintended consequences

12:30 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 21, 2014
One of last year's Jeep recalls led to an unintended consequence for some owners of 2005-10 Grand Cherokee and 2006-10 Commanders -- a consequence Chrysler now says it intends to fix, at least for most people.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Succeed Sergio? You'd have to be a bit crazy

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 20, 2014
Fiat-Chrysler tried to cut off speculation by announcing that CEO Sergio Marchionne would stick around for "at least" three more years.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Succeed Sergio? You'd have to be a bit crazy

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 20, 2014
Fiat-Chrysler tried to cut off speculation about CEO Sergio Marchionne's successor. With the exception of anybody named Tavares or Piech, who would want his job?... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Did new Chrysler spot show hot-selling Ram pickup with a nose job?

3:39 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 30, 2013
Did Chrysler Group's Ram truck brand just show the face of its next pickup? In a new commercial that appeared during the final regular season NFL games, Ram threw in two images that show a pickup featuring the familiar Ram's head badge and a decidedly different nose.... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Why dealers should hire teachers, not tech guys, to deliver cars

2:35 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 11, 2013
Most dealers right now are struggling with a fundamental part of their business: how best to deliver sold cars. Specifically, how should dealers educate their paying customers on all the cool technology that a new car, pickup or SUV contains?... Read More »

 

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Dodge pitchman Burgundy calls Durango 'terrible car'

3:59 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 21, 2013
Dodge's new Durango pitchman , comedian Will Ferrell -- in character as the oafish San Diego newscaster Ron Burgundy -- went decidedly off-message during an appearance Wednesday on Conan O'Brien's late night show. "It's a terrible car," Ferrell told the host during an interview segment.... Read More »

 

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Racing, tech events draw crowds to Hoffman stores

Racing, tech events draw crowds to Hoffman stores

Hoffman Auto Group holds more than 100 elaborate events annually to attract and retain customers. Some buyers zip around a racetrack in Porsches at 130 mph. Mon., October 27
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